A Guide for Upfitting Your Plumbing Work Van

7th Jun 2023

The Plumbing Industry is Fast-Paced

The plumbing industry is fast-paced, making it essential to ensure that your team is always ready to execute tasks regardless of time and location. Upfitting your work van gives you an edge over competitors by providing a self-sufficient mobile workspace designed to increase efficiency. This guide discusses what to know about upfitting your plumbing work van and offers the best van tool storage ideas to help you grow your business.

What Is Vehicle Upfitting?

Upfitting means altering a vehicle's original state for a specific purpose. For example, you can upfit your van with racks, ramps, partitions, storage compartments, cooling units, anti-slip floors and power inverter systems to make it suitable for executing projects. Small and large companies use this vehicle upgrading strategy to improve workplace efficiency and safety. It helps you create a mobile workstation tailored to streamline operations.

Advantages of Vehicle Upfitting

Advantages of Vehicle Upfitting

Why should you consider upfitting your plumbing work van? Here are seven benefits:

  • Better organization: One of the primary goals of upfitting your plumbing work van is managing your space and equipment to increase productivity. A well-organized and tidy van also makes the environment conducive to work and allows you to take proper inventory of your tools.
  • Improved safety: Upfitting your plumbing work van reduces workplace injuries. For instance, installing anti-slip flooring prevents slips and falls.
  • Enhanced efficiency: Upfitting your vehicle enables workers to find items quickly. This saves time and effort, which allows employees to focus more on their projects.
  • Better tool protection: Tools are capital-intensive investments, so it always helps to keep them in peak condition. Upfitting creates compartments for each piece of equipment, reducing the risks of accidental drops. That way, your team is constantly well-equipped with tools that work properly.
  • Increased professionalism: Your plumbing work van speaks directly about your brand. It demonstrates your preparedness for customers, creating a positive impression of your company. Also, having a well-organized mobile workstation shows a professional work culture. 
  • Better ergonomics: Engineering a comfortable and safe mobile workstation enhances your employees' performance. It decreases bends and strains and improves overall health by placing shelves, drawers and other upfitting items in areas of the van that are easy to access.
  • Enriched customization options: A central aspect of upfitting vehicles is modifying them according to your needs to streamline business activities. Besides standard plumbing tools and equipment, you can include accessories that make your mobile workspace conducive. For example, installing LED lights enhances visibility, enabling you to perform optimally even at night.

Common Plumbing Work Van Inventory

Knowing what tools and equipment to have on hand is vital when upfitting your plumbing work van because it lets you know which upfits to consider. Here are common plumbing items you likely have at your disposal:

  1. Pipe wrench set
  2. Double-ended tub drain wrench
  3. Adjustable wrench
  4. Faucet key
  5. Telescoping basin wrench
  6. Hacksaw
  7. Close-quarters tubing cutter
  8. Tube and plastic pipe cutters
  9. 4-in-1 tube and fitting brush
  10. Plumber's torch
  11. Thread sealing tape or plumber's tape
  12. Pliers
  13. Plungers
  14. Copper pipe tube expander
  15. Drain machine
  16. Hand auger
  17. Shop vac
  18. Snake machine
  19. Flaring tool
  20. Goggles
  21. Gloves
  22. PEX pipe expander and fittings
  23. Heat shields and pads
  24. Metal file
  25. Borescope
  26. Pen or pencil
  27. First aid kit
  28. Knee pads
  29. Pocket level
  30. Sandpaper
  31. Tape measure
  32. Voltage tester
  33. Solder flux
  34. Voltmeter
  35. Right-angle drill with various bits
  36. Cordless saw
  37. Tubing cutters
  38. Heavy-duty hammer drill
  39. Hammer
  40. Mini tubing cutters
  41. Cable saw
  42. Torch
  43. Fitting brush
  44. Impact drill
  45. Crimpers

Types of Plumbing Work Van Upfits

Types of Plumbing Work Van Upfits

Depending on your needs, you may combine different types of upfitting strategies for your plumbing work van. However, certain modifications work for most plumbers. Here are six examples of upfits you can make to your plumbing work van:

1. Flooring

Your plumbing van's flooring holds all the fixtures and fittings in the van. It has both visual and functional purposes. Investing in quality work van flooring offers you multiple benefits, including asset protection, noise reduction, easy cleaning and the improvement of workspace safety. Plumbing van flooring is customizable, enabling you to design a base according to your specifications.

Composite van flooring materials enhance safety with anti-slip surfaces and protection against dropped tools. They're available in two or three panels for easy installation, depending on the van’s wheelbase. Rubberized cargo van mats are cut for specific vehicle models. They provide added protection, and their flexibility offers excellent traction and padding. Stabiligrip floors are made of thick hard plastic with fiberglass reinforcement, providing a firm base for tools and equipment.

You can also choose aluminum diamond plates, characterized by their lightweight, durability, superior impact and puncture resistance, or door sill plates for your side or rear doors.

Shop Flooring

2. Panels

Wall liners and panels serve multiple purposes. They protect your vehicle against marks from accidental drops and falls, reduce noise and provide insulation, helping you control the climate within the cargo area. Custom-fit paneling also reduces costly bodywork and rust, as it shields your van against the elements.

When building your vehicle workspace, choose lightweight materials for better fuel efficiency. Also, select the best quality materials to increase your return on investment.

Shop Panels & Wall Liners

3. Partitions and Bulkheads

Plumbing vans carry tools of varying shapes, sizes and weights, making it crucial to  separate the driver and passengers from the cargo area. The goal is to eliminate accidental knocks, increase security and enhance comfort. Partitions come in many forms, including the following:

  • Pass-thru: These separate the cabin from the cargo area but leave a space for easy visual and physical access. Pass-thru bulkheads are ideal for large plumbing vans.
  • Straight: Straight partitions are designed for plumbers who need a simple, durable bulkhead. They're straight sheets of galvanized steel that separate the cabin from the cargo area to protect drivers and passengers, although a mesh option allows you to see what's going on at the back. Straight partitions are available for all full-sized vans.
  • Swing door: Swing door partitions are one of the most versatile options. They operate like a door you can lock while driving. They're available for full-size vans.
  • Contoured: The unique design of contoured partitions enhances comfort within the cabin area, allowing drivers and passengers to travel long distances without stress. They're made of aluminum or steel barriers but curved to maximize operator space. Contoured bulkheads are available for all vans.
  • Sliding door: The stylish sliding door bulkhead offers easy access to and from the cabin area without the door getting in the way. They're available for most full-size vans.
  • Wire mesh: Wire mesh partitions provide enhanced visibility from the cabin. They weigh less than most bulkheads and are easy to install. You can use them in most midsize and compact vans.
  • Composite: These bulkheads are relatively heavier and contoured and offer better soundproofing than other options. They're built from tough molded plastic with steel reinforcements and are available for most full-size vans.
  • MaxView: These are specially designed with extra visibility in mind. MaxView partitions have a molded plastic base with a clear Lexan upper. They're also contoured to expand the cabin and are available for most midsize and compact vans.

Shop Partitions

4. Roof Equipment

Your van's roof is an extra space to transport tools, usually those that may take up too much space in the cargo area, like ladders.

Drop-down ladder racks are efficient, safe and ergonomic for storing ladders on high-roof vans. One person standing on the ground can quickly load and unload it. Clamp-down ladder racks are cost-effective and straightforward to handle. They're made of durable aluminum and steel with high corrosion resistance.

Cargo racks also enable you to  transport other large items like pipes and scaffolds. When upfitting your van, consider equipment like roof decks, cargo bars, access ladders and conduit carriers, and choose the options that simplify your day-to-day operations.

Shop Roof Equipment

5. Accessories

In addition to standard upfits, you can install other vital accessories to improve workflow. Here are four examples to keep in mind:

  • Windows: Many plumbing work vans have solid panels with no rear windows. You can customize your work vehicle with conversion windows to improve ventilation, visibility and driving comfort. You can install OEM-style windows if you prefer an exact factory match or specialty windows for more comprehensive customization options.
  • Interior lighting: Installing recessed or surface LED light upgrades in your van increases visibility and extends your working hours, considering that plumbing projects aren't restricted by time of day. 
  • Cargo restraint and security: Logistics kits hold your equipment in position during transit, reducing the risk of accidental falls.
  • Running boards and rear steps: Most plumbing vans are high above the ground, so fixing running boards and rear steps on them enhances accessibility.

Shop Accessories

6. Specialty Equipment

You can  equip your van with specialty tools to improve your daily activities. Here are three examples:

Shop Our Products

Top 7 Strategies For Effective Plumbing Van Setup

Top 7 Strategies for Effective Plumbing Van Setup

Here are seven work van organization ideas you should know:

  1. Plan the layout: The first step to efficiently organizing your plumbing setup is planning your layout based on your goals, equipment and available space. Empty the inside of your van to clearly understand what you're working with and where you can fit certain items. 
  2. Arrange vertically: Consider a system that uses vertical space to maximize storage. You can install pegboard with hooks and hang poles across the van's length, leaving enough clearance for headspace.
  3. Combine frequently used tools: Storing similar items together makes it easier to locate what you need. 
  4. Assort tools based on size: Arranging tools according to dimensions lets you know where to place each one. As a general rule, larger devices should be in the most accessible areas to make them easy to remove and return.
  5. Label equipment: You can use various labeling tips for easy tool identification, such as name tags and color coding. Be sure to work with your team to choose a system everyone can understand.
  6. Use every space: Each area in or around the van is a potential storage space, including the doors, walls, roof and ceiling. Make use of every space in your van to boost organization and efficiency.
  7. Ensure regular cleaning: Cleaning your van regularly makes the space more comfortable and reduces the potential risk of workplace injuries. Keep your upfitting system in good condition to ensure its longevity.

Other Important Tips for Upfitting Your Plumbing Work Van

In addition to van tool storage ideas, these five guidelines can help you make the best use of your resources:

  1. Choose quality materials: Focus on quality rather than price when possible. Choose equipment that can last years to increase your return on investment. Selecting inexpensive tools and equipment can be more expensive in the long run.
  2. Learn about your van: Know your van's specifications, such as maximum weight capacity. This helps you increase storage without compromising safety.
  3. Get input from your team: Get feedback from your workers to ensure you meet all of their needs with your upfitting solutions.
  4. Customize your van: Standard fits may work, but upfitting your van according to your exact specifications usually gives you the best result. The reason is simple — you get what you need exactly how you want it.
  5. Standardize your fleet: After choosing a custom fit that suits your needs, apply that to all of your plumbing work vans, if applicable. This approach ensures all employees have access to the same organization systems, no matter which van they're using.

Upfit Your Plumbing Work Van With Advantage Outfitters, LLC

Upfit Your Plumbing Work Van With Advantage Outfitters, LLC

Advantage Outfitters, LLC specializes in upfitting commercial vehicles with high-quality equipment and accessories. We aim to help customers design and build work van upfitting solutions that improve efficiency and keep workers safe. You can choose from our standard models or customize a van upfitting system according to your needs. Contact us now to learn more!

Our Values

These values are practiced daily and are at the core of our actions, our team, and our partnerships.

Always be Accountable - We are all accountable to each other, and everyone to the customer. Promises made are promises kept.

Operate with Integrity - Honesty and ethical principles guide our actions. Integrity creates trust, and trust creates speed.

Respect for Time - Time is money, for us and for our customers. Our processes reduce waste and enable us to be nimble.

Passion for Quality - Streamlined procedures result in ongoing excellence. Continuous improvement is built into the fabric of everything we do.

Grow with Teamwork - A team committed to progress compounds success. Every employee, every idea is heard and valued.

Our Certifications

Our Team

Meet the talented upfitters that always bring their best

Kevin Parker


Brent Parker


Nicholas Caiati

Operations Assistant

Jonathan Estremera

Warehouse Team Lead – NJ

Ben Wootten

Account Executive

Vanessa Estevez

Sales Consultant

Garrett Walker

Sales Support

Ian Clark

Customer Service/Inside Sales

Alba Castellanos

Customer Service

Kate Muilenberg

Customer Service

Savannah Baldwin




Our Facilities


South Hackensack, NJ

255 West St. South Hackensack, NJ 07606

Valley Stream, NY Location

Valley Stream, NY

107 E. Hawthorne Ave. Valley Stream NY 11580